Social media has a lasting effect on us; we constantly check our phones throughout the day even when we are around people who matter the most. “I tend to get sucked into my social media platforms and end up scrolling for hours out of the day,” Kristi Shields says. Photo by Bailey Chamberlain.
We live in a world where we are expected to be glued to our phones.
While the advancement of technology comes with pros, the cons tend to heavily outweigh them.
Technology can make it much easier to stay connected with our families when we don’t live close to them, but it can also have us feeling more isolated than ever, at least in my experience.
I tend to get sucked into my social media platforms and end up scrolling for hours out of the day, so I’ll admit I wouldn’t be 100% content if one day social media were to just disappear. The society we live in also demands constant attention to our phones. It’s sometimes hard to break that connection.
I’ve noticed that I have this overwhelming need to check my phone the second it goes off. Due to my leadership position at the Dixie Sun News, it’s important for me to be reachable, but that doesn’t mean I need to answer within one minute.
My brother makes the excuse, “Well, I run my own realty business; I have to be on social media connecting with people,” and of course I find myself saying the same thing, “I’m a journalist, I need to be on social media spreading content and reading the latest news.”
These two cases are valid. My brother couldn’t run his business without having the strong social media presence that he does, and no one would ever see the content we produce at the Dixie Sun News if we weren’t putting time and effort into posting and connecting with people online, but to what extent should we be taking this?
No, I do not need to be scrolling my social media feeds for an hour or more at one time. No, I do not need to be on my phone while I’m with my family who I see every couple of months. No, I do not need to be looking at my text messages while I’m on a date with my husband.
This is just the start to the addiction. It starts by being disconnected from those around us. Then, the worse it gets, the more disconnected we can feel from ourselves.
According to the Children’s Bureau blog: “Research has indicated that internet addiction, particularly among younger demographics such as teenagers, is becoming a widespread issue. It has been linked to depression, low self-esteem, and loneliness – symptoms that often lead to diagnosable mental illnesses and worsening issues that were already present.”
Although my childhood memories are filled with running around outside, going to the park, and riding my bike around the neighborhood with friends, my teenage years were a bit different.
As I got into my teenage years, my friends and I were introduced to technology, and at first, it was great because we could all easily get ahold of each other, but soon it turned into meeting up just to hang out on our phones together. We were slowly disconnecting from one another and quickly beginning to compare ourselves to everyone in the media world, which is so easy to do, especially for young teenagers.
The media world is full of things to compare ourselves to; it always seems like everyone around us has it so much better.
People tend to only post the “perfect” aspects of their lives, which leads to comparison, whether it be our looks or tangible objects.
If we weren’t so addicted to the screens riding around in our pockets, we could take a second, look around at our own lives, and realize the amazing things we have.
It’s time we own up to our technology addictions and do something to change it for ourselves.
I have made it a goal to completely disconnect from my social media on the weekends. That time is for my husband and me. That is my time to de-stress and prepare for a new week because heaven knows I need it.
I have also set a screen time limit on my phone for 40 minutes per day. This gives me enough time to make the adequate posts I need to for my work and doesn’t give me too much time to waste.
I have found that by doing this, I spend much more time reading, playing with my dog, and doing projects around the house.
I challenge you to determine one bad technology habit you have and figure out what you need to do to help yourself break it. I promise you will see a shift in how you feel emotionally and maybe even physically.